Quite exciting news, but only the beginning, I know.
With the help of a harness, I took my first steps since December 2, 2014! Okay, I only took four steps and maybe I did do better going backwards, but a step is a step for all that. Here’s to standing and pivoting and– crossed fingers — being in Maine in 2017!
This is a little exciting, okay, it is a lot exciting. I just have to learn how to get my core to engage when told or willed. The right hip is especially recalcitrant. I tell Becky, the ultimate PT, that if she’s got the way, I’ve got the will.
But there is still a long, harbor-less summer to weather. In the spirit of thus weathering, I watch SHETLAND. The PBS series based on Ann Cleeves’ mysteries, which I once started to read, but found too wordy. And I love it, especially the setting in the Shetland Islands and the photography, until it is all too much like Maine. Then I fall asleep, and when I wake, all is better. This was my mother’s remedy with the first sunburn of the season in my lifeguarding days. It worked then, and it is working so far now. The PBS series makes me think I should give Ann Cleeves’ books another try. With books, you can just stop reading if the longing is too much. And then there is VERA, another PBS series based on Ann Cleeves’ mysteries set in Northumberland, which has a satisfying amount of water. Dana said Vera was the dowdiest detective ever and she looked just like me. Harsh, I thought. Frumpy, mabe. Frumpy is okay.
To further offset lonesomeness, I also ordered Maine poet Christian Barter’s latest book, In Someone Else’s House, for his use of Maine details to make the larger point. I like Billy Collins for the same stylistic reason, and they both have hope and good-nature. I just don’t do angst or despair. And just to be clear, I was not, absolutely not, influenced by his last name being Barter, as in Barter’s Point Road which continues Sea Street three houses up the hill from Roseledge. Surely a connection might lurk therein, though.
The pictures will come, I promise you that. I just don’t know how or when.
Meanwhile, a little outrage is always good for the soul.
You may recall that I am convinced — irrationally, my b-i-l might argue — that the Irish were “here” before the Vikings. Well, another bit of exciting news is that some potentially relevant evidence to support my position has almost come to light.
Sarah Parcak, using new, satellite-based search techniques for which she received a MacArthur genius award. has found an old, “probably Viking,” ship buried beneath the growth and detritus of ages, off the coast of Newfoundland. Why “probably Viking” without considering “maybe Irish?” I ask.
From physics.org: “Archeologists do not have much to go on when attempting to prove that a settlement was made by Norsemen, rather than Basque fisherman or Native Americans—the one true hallmark of Norse travelers was the use of iron nails to build their boats, thus the discovery of an iron-smelting oven would be strong evidence of Viking activity.”
From nytimes: “There’s no lock that it’s Norse, but there’s no alternative evidence,” said Douglas Bolender.
From bbc: “Newfoundland historian Olaf Janzen was certain, no other groups of settlers roasted bog iron in Newfoundland.”
Bog iron aside, how about acknowledging that the Irish were also sailors and living in Iceland before the Vikings? Maybe they were even second hand users of bog iron. Maybe they were hermits being crowded out by the Vikings. The possibilities are many.
“The recorded history of Iceland began with the settlement by Viking explorers and their slaves from the east, particularly Norway and the British Isles, in the late 9th century. Iceland was still uninhabited long after the rest of western Europe had been settled. Recorded settlement has conventionally been dated back to 874 AD, although archaeological evidence indicates Gaelic monks had settled Iceland before that date.”
Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s mystery, Last Rituals, and Millie’s Guide Book mention the monks, too. She, Dana and Nancy are going to be there for 48 hours, so I told them to read up and keep their “prepared” eyes ready.
Still I continue to look for evidence of the Irish contribution. Thus I am currently reading Nancy Marie Brown’s Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the World’s Most Famous Chessmen and the Woman Who Made Them, and though chess, the sagas, and a Norse perspective dominate, I am confident that Margaret the Adroit, the woman of the title, will, to the discerning eye, turn out to be Irish. But that is for a latter day rant.
Oh what a tangled web was woven early on by those a-rovin’.
Scott reports a quiet Memorial Day on Sea Street, no bustle of classic cars housed down the road getting ready for the parade or walkers from summer cottages meandering by with a pause to check out the harbor. He and Brian were on the porch, ostensibly planting grape tomato plants after mowing the jungle -lawn, but really just vegging out in case you all came by. It’s early days yet, I know. And the sign at the corner remains R-less.
Back at the pt gym with unwilling abs, I (gasp) am (gasp) thinking of TH (gasp) and you all (gasp) and 2017 (gasp) and all is right with the world. (big gasp and flop on mat)